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Capitol Hill food+drink | Mexico by way of Montana, Nacho Borracho to bring tequila and cheese to Broadway

Marshall, Opatz and Marshall's partner in both life and biz, Adam Peters, as Montana unveiled its expansion on E Olive Way earlier this year (Image: CHS)

Marshall, Opatz and Marshall’s partner in both life and biz, Adam Peter as Montana unveiled its expansion on E Olive Way earlier this year (Image: CHS)

It says something about the long road still ahead for Broadway that a food and drink investment in the street still feels like a gamble. But this is an investment. Rachel Marshall and Kate Opatz have found a home for their next slightly risky project on Capitol Hill that suits their proclivities for operating on the fringes of the neighborhood’s food and drink hot spots.

“I’m as worried as we should have been when we opened Montana,” Marshall tells CHS. “The likelihood that the block was going to blow up… we had no idea.”

But E Olive Way did, in its own special way, blow up, thanks in part to Montana’s growth on the street. Now the business partners are working to open Nacho Borracho on a block of Broadway that just had a Mexican restaurant go muerto and once saw such a succession of Thai restaurant failures that the DPD permit simply said the next project was to “replace the old Thai restaurant with a new Thai restaurant.”

209 Broadway East seemed a less likely home for a new project than even the “209 Broadway” plain CHS saw listed on the liquor license application.

But Marshall says the former Mexican restaurant space is just their style.

“With being on Broadway, we’re walking into a turnkey restaurant with a full hood in the kitchen, and none of that overproduced bar look that you can find in twenty other places,” she said.

Marshall and Opatz hope that “enormous platters of late-night nachos, seven-layer dip, Frito pie, and housemade queso” and tequila-focused versions of their signature on-tap cocktails will appeal to a new dive bar walk zone between Broadway and 15th Ave.

You can also expect a Montana-esque look and feel for the Broadway Mexican dive being planned for a January opening. Marshall said the plan for the long, narrow restaurant space she and Opatz eventually settled on is to create a really dark hangout with cacti and more pinatas than you can swing a stick at hanging above. Patric Gabre-Kidan, busy building out his own venture at 11th and Pine, will bring Nacho to life with a design by Boxwood studio, Marshall said.

There are no plans for a parklet out front but Broadway has enough going on right now with the bikeway partially complete, the streetcar coming soon and light rail only a few years off. Marshall hopes to be part of the changing street as the transit projects near completion and businesses — including some biggies — make a push back into the area.

“We’re really invested in our neighborhood and we don’t want to see only chains here, either,” Marshall said.

  • Nacho will bring Capitol HIll’s unofficial Mexican restaurant count back to 17… maybe 18. Meanwhile, 2014 will bring the Capitol Hill Mezcaleria Oaxaca on E Pine.
  • Another about-to-open venture is the reborn Dulces Latin Bistro in the Lawrence Lofts building at 18th and Madison. CHS wrote about the former Madrona restaurant’s planned next life along E Madison here earlier this year.
  • Ba Bar is holding a contest to come up with a name for its version of a deep fried croissant-doughnut hybrid as the 12th Ave restaurant prepares to reintroduce the item later this month despite reportedly receiving a cease and desist letter about using the trademarked “Cronut.” We like Crownut but you’d better talk to a lawyer first.
  • The Capitol Hill location of World of Beer and its bottleshop are planned to open later this month. Clearly not messing around, Pine Box is stepping up its growler game:Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 4.22.41 PM
  • Word on Juicebox’s debut of its new 12th Ave cafe is “next week.” Looky, Kari Brunson and Brandin Myett dubbed “new tastemakers.” Oh, Spinasse’s Sasha Rosenfeld is on the list, too. Big Fun’s Patric Gabre-Kidan? Yup.
  • Congratulations, Ada’s Technical Books. The new shop and cafe is a great addition to 15th Ave E. Beer and wine coming soon, paperwork says.IMG_6738
  • Because we need more bars and restaurants on Capitol Hill… restaurant regulatory reform moves ahead.
  • Happy three-year anniversary to Other Coast Capitol Hill.
  • Old Sage wants you to know about its happy hour: “As the days grow shorter, and candlelight starts earlier, we’ve rolled out a new Happy Hour food menu at The Old Sage. The Happy Hour runs Monday – Saturday from 5 to 7pm and all evening on Sundays. The menu changes daily. “
  • Are you “an established regional operator?”Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 4.25.48 PM


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